Having chronic bad breath can take a toll on your self-esteem. Things you should be able to enjoy like photos with family members and intimate conversations with your partner can be a source of concern. While your first instinct may be to cut out certain foods from your diet to eliminate the root of the problem, incorporating new ones may actually be the solution. By introducing yogurt as part of your daily diet, your struggles with bad breath may soon be a thing of the past.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is characterized by a persistent, unpleasant odor when you exhale. Saliva neutralizes odors by removing plaque and food debris. Harmful oral bacteria feed on this debris and then release acids and waste in the form of toxins that cause a sulfur-like smell. Saliva production slows down while we sleep leading to “morning breath,” and this is worsened if you sleep with your mouth open. Skipping breakfast has also been identified as a common cause of bad breath, even if you already brushed your teeth. Though it can result from a variety of factors, some of the most common reasons for bad breath include:
- Certain foods such as onions, garlic, and spices
- Medications leading to dry mouth
- Use of tobacco products
- Diseases including some cancers and conditions such as metabolic disorders
- Plaque buildup due to poor dental hygiene
- Infections in the mouth as a result of surgical wounds, gum disease, tooth decay, or mouth sores
How Yogurt Can Help
In a recent study presented at the International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore, researchers found that eating six ounces of yogurt every day can significantly reduce the levels of odor-causing compounds in the mouth. Researchers asked 24 healthy volunteers to avoid yogurt and foods containing the same bacteria for two weeks. Then, they took saliva and tongue coating samples to measure odor-causing compound and bacteria levels. The participants were then made to eat about 3 ounces of yogurt twice daily for six weeks. At the end of the study, researchers once again took samples from the 24 participants. They found that odor-causing compounds had decreased in 80% of participants.
Incorporating yogurt into your diet can lower plaque levels and decrease your chances of developing gum disease for an overall healthier mouth. So, make sure to take some extra time in the morning to eat breakfast whenever possible. And don’t forget the yogurt!
About the Author
A New Jersey native, Dr. John Carollo received his Doctor of Dental Medicine from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He been practicing for over 30 years and is a highly respected peer, lecturer, and author. He has had more than 20 articles published in various dental journals and actively searches for opportunities to continue to learn and grow. Dr. Carollo is proud to be the Official Team Dentist of the New York Jets since 2006 and specializes in preventive dentistry. For more information about how yogurt can help combat bad breath, visit our website or call us at (973) 377-5117.